Court hears former reporter describe hacking Daniel Craig's phone
Reporter says message was from actress Sienna Miller
Message played to editor Andy Coulson, who later became PM media chief, court hears
Evidence is revealed in phone hacking trial of former News of the World editors
The British Prime Minister’s former media chief listened to a hacked voice mail message left by actress Sienna Miller for actor Daniel Craig, when he was editor of the now defunct News of the World tabloid, a former reporter told a London court.
Andy Coulson, editor of the Rupert Murdoch mass-selling tabloid paper until 2007 and then Prime Minister David Cameron’s head of communications until 2011, heard the voice mail left for the James Bond actor, Dan Evans, a former News of the World journalist told London’s Old Bailey Court on Tuesday.
The revelation came at the trial of former News of the World editors Coulson and Rebekah Brooks and the paper’s former managing editor, Stuart Kuttner.
All are accused of conspiring between October 2000 and August 2006 “to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority.”
They deny the charges.
Voice mail message
Dressed in a blue suit and red tie, Evans took the stand as a prosecution witness after pleading guilty to hacking phones.
He described how he hacked Craig’s voice mail and heard a female voice saying: “Hi, it’s me, I can’t speak, I’m at the Groucho (club) with Jude. I love you.”
Evans told the court he looked up the number and found that it was Miller’s. He then said he played it for Coulson and several other senior figures at the paper.
“Later in the day, Andy came over, he wanted to hear the tape,” Evans said.
“Andy told me to make a copy of the tape, put it in a jiffy bag; take it down the the front gate and say it’s been dropped anonymously,” Evans said.
He added that another senior figure at the paper, upon hearing the message, told Evans: “You’re a company man now.”
Phone hacking furor
When asked by the prosecution if he had ever had any other direct communication with Coulson concerning phone hacking, Evans said: “Not that I can think of, no.”
He then listed Coulson among figures at the newspaper who he said definitely knew he was hacking into phones.
Evans also admitted to recreational drug use, and to being arrested. He said he was now clean.
On Monday, Miller’s former partner, actor Jude Law, attended the trial.
The court also then heard that Evans had already admitted to conspiring to hack phones at the Sunday Mirror paper between February 2003 and January 2005, and the same offense at the News of the World up to 2010, according to Britain’s Press Association news agency.
He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, it said.
Coulson became Cameron’s top communications adviser after leaving News of the World in an earlier round of the hacking scandal. He has denied knowledge of phone hacking.
The hacking allegations prompted Cameron to set up an independent inquiry, led by Lord Justice Leveson, to make recommendations on journalistic ethics and examine the relationship of the media with the public, police and politicians.